USB Mass Storage in Windows Phone 8 (Copy / Paste files from PC)

Starting with Windows 8, your phone can now be recognized as Portable Player (USB Mass Storage) on a Windows PC. This in turn, gives you access to Mass Storage drive of Windows Phone right in your windows explorer. This makes it lot easier for you copy files in & out of Windows Phone without the need of any application.

Steps to enable Mass Storage:

Actually there is no step but here is what you need to. Connect your phone with your PC via USB cable and your phone will be detected as Portable Player. In case you have the App installed, it will be displayed as Windows Phone.

Double click on that and it will display the storage device, named as Phone as USB device.

Windows Phone USB Mass Storage Device

What’s inside the Storage Drive?

  1. Documents
  2. Music
  3. Pictures
  4. Ringtones
  5. Videos.

Documents: Any file, which you have, saved to phone will show up here. However PDF files still don’t show up here as there is no save to phone option with default PDF reader from Microsoft. However, you can read and view the docs from there.

Music: This is a bit different from rest as you have folders like Album, Artist, Playlist and Podcast Series. So if you want to do it right, drop the music files into the Album Folder and the rest will take care by the Windows Phone Music App.

Ringtones:  This special folder makes it easy for you to copy any MP3 file and set it as ringtone on your Windows Phone. Yes,  you can have custom ringtone on your Windows Phone. The songs, which you copy, here appear under Custom Label in Ringtones and will work only  if the audio file is DRM free and smaller than 30MB, it can be used as custom ringtone.

Custom Ringtone in Windows Phone

The Video and image folders are pretty simple. All you need is add files to it and it will show up in its respective section i.e. Picture Library & Music + Video App.

A die-hard fan of Windows, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone and Xbox, Loves to Do Video reviews on Windows Phone Apps, Games, Xbox Games, Xbox Tutorials.


  1. But this is really not a mass storage device, it’s still in MTP mode. Is there any way to let my WP8 to actually have a drive letter?

  2. Hi Ashish.. i have lumia 520.. i added few ringtones of size < 500KB but it's not coming under CUSTOM header. The audio files are DRM free. Can u pls tell me ne work around.

    As per Andreas Botsikas THE PHONE MUST BE UNLOCKED. is it so ??

  3. Hi Ashish,

    I have enabled USB storage mode to my Lumia 510 (7.8 OS)and can successfully do copy paste stuff from PC to phone and vice versa. Now, I have two issues/questions here:

    [1] I cannot see Documents folder in the drive and when I paste any word or pdf file, then I cannot find the same in my phone i.e, neither in Adobe Reader nor in Office. Could you please let me know how can deal with documents stuff?

    [2] I am very much concerned with this one.. I need to know how can I install xap application to my device after enabling USB storage? My problem is, my device somehow cannot sync with Zune and USB storage is like a boon to my efforts. I can do everything with this hack, but not able to install any xap file. Is there any way to do it when USB storage is enabled?

    Awaiting your reply..


  4. 1) Can you share what do you see when you connect with your computer?
    2) Since you have 510 which runs 7.8 You cannot install XAP file. Its a new feature in Windows Phone 8 which is useful when you cannot download huge apps on your phone.


  5. Nope. Just plugin your phone and it should work. Did you try another USB port or any other computer?

  6. Hi I have a nokia lumia 710 I have the phone drivers installed and have changed regedit on my windows 7 laptop..I can see 2 icons in my computer folder and i can access them both..they both show no folders inside, photos etc..ive tried adding mp3s but get an error sayin the device may have disconnected I have managed to get a avi to convert but it took 1 hour to convert a little to long for me

  7. See the reply to lee, lumia 610 is Windows phone 7.8 and there is no official supported way to do this…

  8. it also works in 710.. u just need to close zune.. i hav fully unlocked 710.. problem with me is tat i cant find the file in my cell through explorer.. i transferd it outside default folders..

  9. I own a Lumia 620,today I accidentally deleted the Camera Roll folder from my Mass Memory. Is there any way to recover those photos???.And secondly, is there any way to mount my phone as mass memory where it would be detected as removal drive???Please reply

  10. Sorry man, had the same problem. Seems like the MTP mode is the only possible. Remember to check your skydrive though, that had saved my photos, even when I hadn’t enabled it. Apparently its on by default.

  11. Did you configure your MS account there? If yes chances are you have it on SkyDrive already. Check. Also the phone when connected to PC does not get detected as Removeable drive but displays as drive. How does it matter to you?

  12. Because recovery software can only access actual drives, not MTP devices. Thats pretty much why everybody wants to know. You might want to actually change the headline of this article, because it is slightly wrong – WP8 does not support actual mass storage mode.

  13. Doesn’t really matter, as all of the current recovery programs available (for Windows, anyhow) require a header block level access to see the files that have had their block pointers removed – or, in another word, “deleted”. So the problem isn’t in the recovery software in itself, it’s the limited access to the drive.

    Back when I had this problem I found a program that claimed it can access MTP devices but I should warn people to should stay very, very far from it. At best it is a non-working program and at worst it’s a malicious scanning trojan.

  14. got my phone 2 days back …..(lumia 820)

    before when i connect it to windows it was automatically detected by it and phone’s and sd card folder was made …
    but now windows is not showing its folder …

    any idea why ??

  15. oi Ashish

    tenho o lumia 520 nao consigo usa o usb deli quando boto eli no aplicativo do windows phone fala que meu celular ta bloquiado como eu fasso para desbloquia

  16. i have lumia 710. and i cannot connect the mass laptop cant even see the phone.what should i do?

  17. Hi guys. I’ve got Nokia Lumia 920 and i wonder how can i copy games via usb from my pc to my phone. As it is mentioned, there are folders named Documents, Pictures, Ringtones, Videos, Music .Ashish can you help me? Where should i copy that .xap files? thanks

  18. Hello, I have a question. My phone is lumia 520. When I wanted to copy mp3 files, the files always get doubled or more. I mean when I copied one file, I saw 2 same files (or more) in my mp3 player list. But it was still one single file when I saw it in my pc. And whenever I deleted one of the files, the mp3 files cannot be played. Can you help me? Thank you!

  19. 1. backup your data on PC from SD card. Format your SD card using the phone.
    2. Soft reset your phone by pressing volume down + power + Camera Key

  20. Hi Ashish, I need to recover deleted sms messages from my Lumia 920. Is there any way to get them back?

  21. Thanks for your response. The deleted messages I need to recover were received and sent before the backup was turned on.

  22. Hi Ashish, you say you are a big fan of Nokia Lumia Phone, then just wanted to know if you are aware of one big problem with Nokia Phones that it creates duplicate files on SD card for all content like Video, Photos, Music when you share file from PC to Phone. This is a problem faced by many people and if you google it you will see many results about it. Window has not acknowledged the problem anywhere. If you are aware of this problem can you tell if you have found out any solution for this very annoying problem. This one reason has made me hate Nokia. I use a Nokia Lumia 520 phone.

  23. Hi Ashish… I am trying to enable mass storage device for my nokia lumia 620.. Can you please help me with this…

  24. I am actually trying to recover my deleted photos which were saved in Lock & Hide app.. Can you please help me with it?

  25. If the phone is factory reset from the settings, will data be still recoverable using any recovery software. I have lumia 720(WP8). Pls advise

  26. I have a Lumia 925 and I’m trying to recover deleted videos but the software I have cannot detect my phone when plugged into the computer. Can you tell me how to enable my phone’s mass storage so that the software can detect my phone?

  27. Hello Ashish, is there a way to scan my lumia 520 for viruses on my PC? I am asking this because windows recognizes it as portable device and on right clicking the icon I don’t get any option of scan. (Actually I want to know how to get my phone as removable drive)

  28. I downloaded .xap file on pc.its a game for windows phone.i connected my phone to my pc through usb and copied the ,xap file to my phone.i tried to find the file on my phone but font seem to find it..this is annoying.
    please help!!!

  29. Hi, I copied several video files (in *avi format) onto my windows phone 8 Nokia Lumia 925. Now as I cannot see them anywhere on the phone, in videos or anywhere else, I would like to remove them. Unfortunately they don’t show up in Windows Explorer in the videos folder when I connect it to my pc using the USB cable. How can I see these files (they show up on the Windows Phone app on my PC, but NOT on Explorer). How can I remove these files and free up the space?

  30. W8 does not really support mass storage mode. The mode it does support is MPC, which in turn is not supported by any known recovery programs.

  31. hi i need help i downloaded the sims freeplay on my lumia820 but something occurred and i stopped the download but her files are not being deleted from media and files i had 2,2gb free it became 1,8 and my temporary files was 100 became 700 and they are not getting deleted was should i do please help

  32. Hi Ashish, I am connecting my Lumia 620 phone to my computer (Windows XP), and I can see the Phone drive and the Documents, Music, Videos folders under them. The issue is that I am not able to paste anything within this drive or any of these folders and the paste option remains disabled. Paste option is enabled for any other regular drives on my computer. Can you please help?

  33. Hi Ashish I tried connecting my Window Lumia 525 but getting an error as MTP error when it search for a connected device. I don’t see any removable device on My Computer.

  34. Please help am now using my phone Lumia710 but am no longer get mass storage in my PC what can I do?

  35. this does not help at all! how do I get my Nokia Lumia 520 Windows Phone to be recognized as MASS STORAGE? As in E: or F: or G:? NOT as a Phone! As a USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE?

    **** too frustrating, bought the 520 because I liked the concept of a device working flawlessly with my Windows 8, but it’s just too frustrating. I don’t want my computer to see it as a phone, as I don’t use it as a phone, i use it as a media device… I want to see it as a drive. I guess I’m too much of an Android person. My foray into the Windows Phone is done, I failed lol.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.